The Trickle Up Brings Together Artists to Combat Poverty

NYC artists help their peers living below the poverty line by sharing videos on new subscription-based site.

A sampling of the videos now available on The Trickle Up.

Taylor Mac, Kristin Marting, Morgan Jenness, Emily Morse, Niegel Smith, and a group of over 50 other New York City artists—including Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur Fellowship and OBIE Award winners spanning numerous disciplines—have hatched a plan to help artists hurt from the COVID-19 shutdown. Inspired by the artists-on-behalf-of-artists activism of Elizabeth Swados, they have made a new grassroots subscription video platform, The Trickle Up (A NYC Artists Network). As members of the performing arts community struggle to maintain their livelihoods amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, The Trickle Up enlists New York artists in helping other New York artists living below the poverty line, who are suffering from lost income, by sharing work on the platform. The Trickle Up aims to engage 10,000 subscribers paying $10 a month—and thereby get $10,000 each to 120 different artists in need (starting ASAP, and through the year). If this goal is surpassed, more people get help. The Trickle Upa model for how a streaming arts platform can reshape artists’ lives, seeks to continue supporting artists well beyond the fallout of COVID-19. The site launched Monday, March 23, with videos streaming at

50 artists have already signed on to donate their time and creativity to make three videos each for the platform. They include: Penny Arcade (performance artist), Annie Baker (playwright), Sharon Bridgforth (playwright/poet), Rachel Chavkin (theatre-maker), Lisa D’Amour (playwright), Helga Davis (performer), Machine Dazzle (designer), Lear DeBessonett (theatre-maker), Ty Dafoe (actor), Andre De Shields (performer), Viva DeConcini (musician), Kristoffer Diaz (playwright), Faye Driscoll (choreographer), Anastasia Durasova (makeup designer), Bridget Everett (comedienne/singer), Greg Glassman (musician), Lucas Hnath (playwright), Marika Hughes (musician), Mia Katigbak (theatre-maker), Lisa Kron (playwright), Jeyn Levison and Joshua Waletzky (Yiddish culturalists), Bianca Leigh (actress), Dana Lyn (musician),  Taylor Mac (theatre-maker), Ellen Maddow (theatre-maker) , Kristin Marting (theatre-maker), Dirty Martini (burlesque performer), Dominique Morisseau (performer/playwright), Miguel Gutierrez (choreographer), Lynn Nottage (playwright), Diana Oh (playwright/ performer), Suzan-Lori Parks (playwright/musician), Annie-B Parson (choreographer/theatre-maker), Clint Ramos (designer), Sarah Ruhl (playwright/poet), Peggy Shaw (theatre maker), Sxip Shirey (composer/musician), Niegel Smith (theatre maker), Lloyd Suh (playwright), Darrel Thorne (designer/club performer), Tigger! (actor/burlesque performer), Liesl Tommy (director), Adrienne Truscott (performance artist), Basil Twist (puppeteer), Paula Vogel (playwright), Anne Washburn (playwright), Lois Weaver (theatre-maker), Weirdos.TV (performance artist), and Paul Zimet (theatre-maker). These donating artists, and any others who join in the cause in the future, will select recipients of the $10,000 commissions.

In addition to these artists, 20 promotional partners have joined the cause: Brooklyn Arts CouncilBrooklyn Arts ExchangeBeth Morrison ProjectsClubbed Thumb, The Flea TheaterHERE Arts CenterHowlRoundThe LarkMa-Yi Theater CompanyMAP FundNAATCO, New DramatistsNew GeorgesNew Ohio TheatreOn the Boards, The Arts Center at NYU Abu DhabiPeoplmovrThe Play CompanyRattlestick Playwrights Theater, and Times Square Arts.


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